Show Summary Details
Page of

date: 25 July 2021

p. 16p. 172. Practical letterslocked

p. 16p. 172. Practical letterslocked

  • Paul Luna


Written communication cannot rely on only one style of letter to function. A single alphabet might suffice if we were looking at Roman inscriptions, but in any kind of modern publication, we see a variety of letterforms coexist. The great strength of the Latin alphabet is its ability to be modulated typographically—the basic design can be varied by slope, weight, compression, and even by the addition of decoration. ‘Practical letters’ considers typographic terminology, the development of typefaces, the numerical systems used to describe the relationships between letter sizes, complex text typography, the mechanization of type, and how letters sit side by side to make words and lines of type.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.